Friday, February 4, 2011


American's are very good at ignoring the world. We're taught little and remember less. Geography? Oh yea, its capital is Berlin. No,thats GERMANY.

Our ongoing personal edification series takes on Africa today. Hardly 2 adults in ten can name more than 5 countries in Africa. Locate them on a map? As if. That's how an international news organization broadcast a completely bogus map and no one batted an eye. We hadn't a clue.

This map is more representative of modern Africa.

What concerns us today is size. Just how large is the place?

Enlarge the photo. Now, do it again.

Kai Krause has put the map of Africa into understandable perspective.

But you knew that.

thanks to Joan for the first map.


vir beātum said...

Hmm. But you'd think by now that Fox, and the American people, would know where Iraq is. It might also be in their interests to learn the whereabouts of Suez.

James said...

Your Honor, I rest my case.

Divine Theatre said...

A continent that size, housing 53 countries should be taking care of us instead of the other way around. No?
Africa? What gives?

Free Kansas said...

In an effort to remain patriotic, can we swap out India for Alaska?

Staircase Witch said...

I thought this cartoon might cheer you a little. This is the America in which I live.

R said...

Yeah, Africa is big. Yeah, most people (even within Africa itself, it must be admitted) are ignorant of its present boundaries and names. That might be because they change them like the Netherlands changes governments, or Berlusconi changes escorts. But it's also true that most Americans can't name most of our own past presidents, or name the Ten Commandments (useless knowledge, but still -- so many Americans profess their importance).

I might be more inclined to learn about Africa if it produced anything worth noticing. As near as I can tell, the last time that happened was about three millennia ago, and was confined to the Nile region. Where is the African Shakespeare? Where, the African Edison? Heck -- I'd settle for an African Noel Coward. Anyone? Hello?

Africa's a uniquely backward part of the globe where it's a widely-held notion that, by raping a virgin girl, your AIDS will be cured, where cutting off her clitoris will make her a more suitable wife, where enslaving your neighboring country's children and forcing them to shoot their parents is considered politically expedient. It's the rape capital of the world. It's the illiteracy capital of the world. It sucks up more foreign aid and charity than all of the non-African nations of the world combined, and shows little sign of improvement.

In short, when Africa starts pulling its own weight in anything that the civilized world values, we'll all sit up and take note. Until then, it will remain an enigma unworthy of study.

Staircase Witch said...


We might, once upon a time, have said a great many of these things about China or India. (Indeed, I'm not sure we can't still say such things about India--while it has produced a number of great thinkers and scientists, the general level of its day-to-day society is more along the lines of Mike Judge's "Idiocracy". And China, too, has a rich intellectual and cultural heritage, but it is enormous, with a huge gender imbalance because abortion and infanticide have eliminated so many female children. And yet, they are both economic and political forces with which to be recommended.

From the perspective of multinational corporations, Africa has two important resources: raw materials (including oil) and people desperate for the means of keeping body and soul together. As standards of living rise sharply in China and India, and workers start to demand Western-style wages and benefits, these companies are going to start casting around for a new source of cheap labor, and they'll find it in Africa. Even if the infrastructure is bare-bones, even if the product is progressively shoddier (because of lack of training and ever-decreasing worker compensation), they'll still be making a profit. I'd pay attention.

Staircase Witch said...

oops, that should have been reckoned--not recommended. Damn Android.